Monday, 18 June, 2018

Kilauea volcano beams through the clouds in mesmerizing time lapse

Deadly lava is tearing through Hawaii as the Kilauea volcano's violent eruption continues — here are the latest images Wells are hurriedly plugged at Hawaii power plant under threat of lava flow
Eugene Bates | 24 May, 2018, 14:41

Molten lava crept into the grounds of a geothermal power plant site, as workers rushed to shut down the facility to prevent the uncontrollable release of toxic gases.

The latest back-to-back upheavals of ash from the main summit crater of Kilauea - one before dawn and another several hours later - came on the 21st day of what geologists rank as one of the biggest eruption cycles in a century from one of the world's most active volcanoes.

Nighttime photos released Wednesday by the U.S. Geological Survey show the flames spouting from cracks in the pavement in the Leilani Estates neighborhood where the volcano has been gushing lava on the big island of Hawaii for the past three weeks.

On Monday, lava entered and then stalled on the property of a geothermal plant near one of Kilauea's new volcanic vents.

The governor said "as of today, 10 of 11 wells are quenched and are stable, and 11th well is plugged and the pressure in the well has diminished to the point that we believe it's stable", Ige said.

More than 10,000 residents have been evacuated since the volcanic activity began, due to Kilauea opening up 22 fissures that have leaked slow-moving lava and unsafe sulphur dioxide.

Accumulations of cooled, hardened lava created a thick, 30-foot (9.14-metre) high wall of solid volcanic rock channelling fresh lava streams from fissures to the south, away from the PGV plant, USGS scientists said. Officials are concerned that "laze", a unsafe product produced when hot lava hits cool ocean water, will affect residents. The caustic plume, which can be fatal if inhaled, is the latest hazard in an eruption that shows no signs of stopping.

The molten rock - flowing into the ocean, as residents cope with lava bombs, toxic gas, and a deadly, airborne mix of hydrochloric acid and glass particles. Since the volcano began erupting in early May, it's destroyed dozens of homes and other structures and send thousands of evacuees packing. One person was seriously injured after being hit by a flying piece of lava.

This gas flows through the ground and up through existing cracks, posing an extreme danger to anyone standing nearby. The Hawaii National Guard has warned of more mandatory evacuations if more highways are blocked.

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